Research voyages 2016

Voyage #, date & ports

Voyage summary 

IN2016_V01

6 January-28 February 2016

Fremantle to Hobart

HEOBI: Heard Earth-Ocean-Biosphere Interactions (Chief Scientist: Professor Mike Coffin, IMAS, UTAS)

Heard and McDonald Islands are Australia’s only active volcanoes. Surmounting the Kerguelen Plateau in the Southern Ocean, they are surrounded by seafloor that is pierced by small peaks interpreted to represent undersea volcanoes. We will systematically image the seafloor around the islands, investigate interpreted submarine volcanoes for active hydrothermalism, sample the water column downstream of active hydrothermal vents, and look for evidence for contemporaneous phytoplankton blooms. This work will constitute the first test of the hypothesis that hydrothermal activity is responsible for phytoplankton blooms, which, if correct, has significant implications for solid Earth-biosphere linkages in the global carbon cycle.

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IN2016_V02

11 March-17 April 2016

Hobart to Hobart

Integrated Monitoring Observing System Time Series automated moorings for climate and carbon cycle studies southwest of Tasmania (Chief Scientist: Professor Tom Trull, ACE-CRC)

The Southern Ocean Time Series provides world-leading automated observations from deep-ocean moorings of the exchanges of heat, water, carbon dioxide, and oxygen between the ocean and atmosphere, and the physical and biological processes that control them. These results contribute to forward projections of anthropogenic climate warming, inform the setting of emissions targets, illuminate controls on climate variability, and provide a baseline for impacts on ocean pelagic ecology.  Sensor data is returned live to the internet and samples are returned annually for further study in shore laboratories.

CAPRICORN: clouds, aerosols, precipitation, radiation and atmospheric composition over the Southern Ocean (Lead Principal Investigator: Dr Alain Protat, BOM)

Clouds over the Southern Ocean are one of the largest uncertainties in the prediction of the future climate of the Southern Hemisphere. This study will bridge an observational gap in this data-sparse, unique region of the World assisting in understanding why climate models poorly simulate the energy balance over the Southern Ocean and improving skill of weather forecast models to simulate frontal cloud systems. This will be achieved by analysing cloud, aerosol, and precipitation observations of frontal cloud systems and associated processes using dedicated radar, lidar, and radiosounding observations from the RV Investigator and satellite platforms.

Linking eddy physics and biogeochemistry in the Antarctic Circumpolar current south of Tasmania (Lead Principal Investigator: A/Professor Peter Strutton, UTAS)

Ocean eddies are like atmospheric highs and lows that spin either clockwise or anticlockwise, are about 100-200 kilometres across and several hundred meters deep. Eddies are important because they generate vertical currents that move nutrients and carbon dioxide up or down. This work will observe an eddy in the Southern Ocean for three weeks, to understand how its circulation impacts ocean productivity and the exchange of carbon dioxide between the ocean and atmosphere. We will gain a better understanding of carbon cycling in an ocean region that is central to the climate of Australia and the rest of the planet.

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IN2016_V03

26 April-30 June 2016

Leg 1: Hobart to Wellington

Leg 2: Wellington to Lautoka

Monitoring ocean change and variability along 170oW from the ice edge to the equator (Chief Scientist Leg 1: Dr Bernadette Sloyan, CSIRO / Chief Scientist Leg 2: Dr Susan Wijffels, CSIRO)

The ocean plays a crucial role in setting the rate and nature of climate change and variability, through its moderation of the planetary heat and carbon budgets. Significant changes in the ocean heat and freshwater and carbon content have been detected using ocean observations. The continued commitment to ocean time series sites in the ocean surrounding Australia is allowing us to detect the interannual to decadal time scale ocean variability of the mid-depth and deep ocean that will aid understanding of the role of the ocean in moderating climate change and variability.

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IN2016_T01

1-13 July 2016

Lautoka to Hobart

Continuity of Australian terranes into Zealandia: Towards a geological map of the east Gondwana margin (Chief Scientist: Dr Simon Williams, University of Sydney)

A large gap in our knowledge of east Australian geology lies hidden beneath the seas off eastern Australia. Very little is known about the geological make-up of the submarine banks and ridges under the Tasman and Coral seas. We will conduct targeted rock dredge sampling to help fill this geological gap and provide useful framework information for some of Australia’s largest frontier hydrocarbon basins.  Our targets are the Fairway Ridge and the ridge underlying “Sandy Island”, a phantom island that until recently was depicted, in error, as a feature in most digital global coastline maps.

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IN2016_E01

17-22 August 2016

Hobart to Hobart

Sea Trials and Supplementary project:  East Tasman Plateau – key to unravelling the onset of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (Chief Scientist: Dr Joanne Whittaker, UTAS)

This frontier work will address first-order geoscientific questions on the evolution of the Tasman Seaway, a critical component in the onset of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. Today, this current helps keep Antarctica cool, but its onset and role in stabilising icesheets on Antarctica remains controversial. This work will utilise marine geological data to resolve these outstanding tectonic and oceanographic questions around the evolution of key changes in past climatic and oceanographic conditions.

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IN2016_T02

25-29 August 2016

Hobart to Sydney

Natural iron fertilisation of oceans around Australia: linking terrestrial dust and bushfires to marine biogeochemistry (Chief Scientist: Dr Andrew Bowie, UTAS)

The application will support research to quantify the importance of iron-rich aerosols from Australia for marine biogeochemistry and ocean ecosystem health. The project will sample and conduct experiments on atmospheric particles containing terrestrial dust and bushfire smoke that are transported from Australia to its surrounding oceans. The application supports the training and research of two postgraduate students from IMAS-UTAS. The outcomes will provide a scientific basis for managing the complex role of iron in sustaining marine ecosystem biodiversity and for informing government policy on ocean fertilisation as a carbon mitigation strategy.

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IN2016_V04

30 August-
23 September 2016

Sydney to Brisbane

Influence of temperature and nutrient supply on the biogeochemical function and diversity of ocean microbes (Chief Scientist: Dr Martina Doblin, University of Technology Sydney)

Microbes drive ocean biogeochemical cycles and regulate Earth’s climate yet are poorly represented in ocean-climate models. This project will use state-of-the-art cell sorting and molecular analysis techniques to gain a deeper understanding of microbial diversity and nutrient utilisation in waters influenced by Australia’s warming and strengthening East Australia Current. This research will provide managers and industry with more accurate insight into the effects of ongoing ocean change on the delivery of essential ecosystem services in eastern Australian waters.

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IN2016_V05

26 September-
26 October 2016

Brisbane to Brisbane

The Great Barrier Reef as a significant source of climatically relevant aerosol particles (Chief Scientist: Professor Zoran Ristovski, Queensland University of Technology)

Every cloud drop is formed from a microscopic aerosol particle (cloud condensation nuclei - CCN). In unpolluted environments the CCN particles originate from biogenic sources. Determining the magnitude and driving factors of biogenic aerosol production in different ecosystems is crucial to the development and improvement? of climate models. This study will determine the mechanisms of new particle production from one of the biggest ecosystems in Australia, the Great Barrier Reef. It will aim to establish whether marine aerosol along the Queensland coast is coral-derived and show that this aerosol can affect the CCN concentration and therefore cloud formation and the hydrological cycle.

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IN2016_V06

28 October-
14 November 2016

Brisbane to Brisbane

Sustained monitoring of the East Australian Current: Mass, heat and freshwater transports (Chief Scientist: Dr Bernadette Sloyan, CSIRO)

The East Australian Current, a southward flow off eastern Australia, is one of the major global western boundary currents.  The EAC is the dominant mechanism for the redistribution of heat and freshwater between the ocean and atmosphere in the Australian region; it is a vital component of the eastern Australian coastal ecosystem.  The mooring array will monitor in the mass, heat and freshwater transported of EAC, which is central to our understanding of how climate signals are communicated through the ocean.

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IN2016_T03

18-20 November 2016

Brisbane to Sydney

Transit voyage Brisbane to Sydney (Voyage Manager: Rod Palmer, Oceans & Atmosphere, CSIRO)

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IN2016_E02

15-19 December 2016

Sydney to Hobart

Sea trials - MNF equipment

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Updated: 23 October 2017